A year of dictatorship, a year of repression, a year of abuse……
Since the 1st of February 2021 Myanmar turned again in a military dictatorship, the army took over government control and has suppressed and abused their people ever since. Myanmar has a long history of dictatorship, as the military always has a very firm base of supporters. When its top rulers decide it is time to take charge again, as they want to gain more power and wealth, they turnover whatever is needed and don’t hesitate to push everything and everyone aside that or whom stands in their way. “Under the leadership of Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the military has launched airstrikes on villages and internally displaced people’s camps and carried out brutal sexual and gender-based attacks on women and girls across the country.”(The World Has Failed to Stand With Myanmar, By Wai Wai Nu in the FP: https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/02/01/myanmar-coup-military-anniversary-rohingya-violence-protests-un-security-council/)
The history also repeats its violence against women and girls. Women stand alongside with men to fight for their freedom. They are out on the streets, they keep others motivated to carry on the resistance, they give trauma support. These are the women whom we keep on supporting, no matter how long the coup takes, we keep on standing with them. Many have already been arrested and are being (sexually) abused and harassed in jail getting sentences without trial.
The urgency of their work and the urgency for support is not dwindling, but as the coup goes on, it has been more difficult to find more donors to get the work done. We women is a small grassroots organisation, we are working at the moment only on a voluntary basis, as we have no other resources to fall back on. Our network inside Myanmar however keeps being strong and keeps up their resistance. So we keep doing whatever we can to support this brave women in the field.
One woman whom We women has supported was taken by the military in September 2021. Win (not her real name) had been personally demonstrating against the coup since February 2021 and in addition had been lobbying other women to get involved in civil disobedience activities. Win has been integral in organising help for other activists and has been arranging counselling for those traumatised by recent events. She also played a role in disseminating donations throughout the community for We women. Win has now been captured by the military. These disappearances are designed to instil fear in these brave women, however the courage of these women and the determination to not give up on their dream of democracy is strong.
So the others keep going, they feel the urgency and the importance of their work and also will keep on fighting for their captured peers and all people whom are suppressed by the regime.
From abroad we keep on sending our strong women messages and online meditations to encourage them and to support them to calm their minds and to find some solace in the turmoil that they are facing every day.
We are thankful for everyone who has been supporting us the past year and we can’t tell you enough how important your continuity is to our women. Warm regards Ursula and the We women team